- Vol. 03
- Chapter 10
Image by Megan Archer
The DaytrippersThey floated back into the harbour at dusk, skin glistening, voices singing. The sea still inside of them, washing over them. The boat tilting and tipsy.
He had watched them leave in the early hours, the sail unfurling as they rounded the harbour wall and hit the open water, its candy stripes, red, white and incongruous against the shimmering morning ocean.
'So frivolous,' he thought. And her crimson lipped smile flashed before him.
She had tiptoed onto the deck, tottering down the gangway in diamanté slippers, lifting a veil of pale blue chiffon which swathed her modesty - but only just - as she hopped on to the deck. Boats were not her territory. Terra firma, that's where she glided. But she smiled her crimson smile and almost concealed her unease as she swayed there on the deck, their eyes meeting when she became aware of him staring and realised that, somehow, he understood her.
The sea, this is her greatest fear.
He had thought to tell her that she was right to be wary. Her unease quite rational. Necessary even. But the ropes were already loosened, the mast raised, the course set.
As they rounded the harbour wall, he called out and waved, just in case.
'Bon voyage!' Knowing she wouldn't hear.
The DaytrippersHe did not need to imagine the things which awaited her beyond the harbour wall. He knows only too well.
And she had seen it there, in his eyes, this knowledge, and still she had smiled in the face of it.
'So frivolous,' he found himself repeating.
As if waves and wind and water and the unknown are things she can absorb.
For he can remember the sea. Hear still, the fizz of the ocean as it coursed through him. He can taste it still, the salty brine which filled his nose. And there is a lightness there, in sinew and muscle which feels like floating.
They had called to him too that day, and he had turned and smiled at the figures waving from the harbour wall and watched as their ever decreasing silhouettes seemed to dissolve into the light.
But some return, singing and glowing and smiling.
And here she is, returned, all caution abandoned as she disembarks, her chiffon wrap fluttering in the breeze as she trails it in her hand, her lipstick faded to nothing in the glow of tanned skin, her voice rising above the others as they reach the chorus.
A song of the sea. One he doesn't know.